Recent reports from Xbox chief suggest that they have.
It’s fair to say that the words “Virtual Reality” might carry the same weight as the word “Voldemort” among some die-hard Xbox fans lately, when just a few days ago Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, stated that project Scarlett will not be VR compatible. This isn’t exactly a surprise. In 2016, when Xbox was releasing the Xbox One X, Spencer stated “VR would come to Xbox One X when it didn’t feel like demo’s and experiments”. A feeling that he clearly hasn’t been able to shake.
In an interview with Stevivor, Spencer discussed that VR is “not where our focus is”. He also went on to state that ” We’re responding to what our customers are asking for… nobody’s asking for VR.”
Not even Half Life : Alyx could change his mind. After he mentioned playing the game in a tweet, Spencer went on to confirm where Scarlett stands on VR.
Is he right about Xbox fans not wanting VR? We aren’t sure.
One twitter follower replied to Phil’s tweet, mentioning that “It was supposed to be a focus for the X, but you straight up lied to us on that one. I really hoped VR would be supported… that hope is crushed.”
This isn’t the only member of the community disheartened by the news, others discussing the point of providing play style “options” to the community. Some even mention the possibility of third party development by Oculus or Steam to save time and resources.
One of Spencer’s large concerns is the economics of VR. With the cost of virtual reality development so high, it comes down to how many headsets Microsoft expect to sell. It is no secret that VR hasn’t exploded like a lot of company’s thought. Spencer addresses this in his interviews and comments how “no one is selling millions and millions.”
Sony has had a little to say in this discussion however, tweeting that Sony “oftentimes works hard to make things that no customers are asking for.” Sony’s success with the Playstation VR headset does challenge the views of Spencer, with a total of 4.2 million headsets sold as of March 2019.
Sony released their VR headset over 3 years ago and have definitely seen success. This success is set to continue with confirmation from Sony that the headset will work with the Playstation 5. The next gen console set to release in late 2020.
While there is still some hope for Xbox fans, it isn’t likely that they can expect to see VR on Xbox anytime soon. While this isn’t ideal, there are always other options for those keen on getting into the tech.